Tragedy Strikes as Kenyan Marathon World Record-Holder Kiptum Perishes in Car Accident

In a heartbreaking turn of events, Kenyan running sensation Kelvin Kiptum, the world record-holder for the marathon, lost his life at the age of 24 in a fatal car crash in his homeland. The incident occurred as Kiptum, alongside his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana, was traveling from Kaptagat to Eldoret in western Kenya around 11 pm (2000 GMT) on Sunday. The vehicle, driven by Kiptum, tragically rolled, claiming the lives of both Kiptum and Hakizimana, while a female passenger sustained injuries, according to Peter Mulinge, the police commander for Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Kiptum, who had recently set a world record time of 2:00:35 in Chicago in October, shattering Eliud Kipchoge's previous record by 34 seconds, was a rising star in the marathon world. At just 23 years old, he had achieved this remarkable feat in only his third marathon, having triumphed in his debut in Valencia in 2022 and a subsequent victory in London the following year.

Kenyan President William Ruto mourned the loss, describing Kiptum as "our future" and "an extraordinary sportsman." From humble beginnings herding goats a decade ago, Kiptum had swiftly risen to become one of the world's finest sportsmen, breaking barriers and aiming to set an official marathon record under the two-hour mark in April.

World Athletics expressed shock and deep sadness at the loss of Kiptum and his coach, recognizing Kiptum as one of the most exciting prospects in road running in recent years. Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, conveyed condolences to their families, friends, teammates, and the entire Kenyan nation, emphasizing Kiptum's incredible legacy.

The untimely demise comes just days before the anticipated collaboration between Kiptum and fellow Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge at the Paris 2024 Olympics. The President of Kenya's National Olympic Committee, Paul Tergat, expressed sorrow over the loss of a promising talent, highlighting Kiptum's recent ratified record in Chicago as a testament to his potential for Olympic greatness.

Kiptum's journey from a village in the Rift Valley to the pinnacle of distance running was marked by dedication and hard work. His death, however, adds to a series of tragedies that have befallen Kenya's young athletics hopefuls, echoing the loss of marathon great Samuel Wanjiru in 2011 and long-distance running star Agnes Tirop in 2021. The sports community mourns the loss of an incredible athlete and the legacy he leaves behind


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